by Rocky Pisor

Gerald was very direct. There was a sense of urgency in his voice. As he unfolded his story, it was apparent that he had overcome many obstacles in life, but one remained. The anxiety was palpable as we talked together.

He listed what he had overcome- skin cancer, multiple drug addictions, and alcoholism. He was successful with his business. Then he shared the one thing he has tried to overcome for several years- His addiction to porn and sex using hook-up apps. Three days before this, his wife and daughter left him. He was devastated. They were his whole world, and now they were gone. He wept and then continued.

His other addictions were behind him now. This one was impervious to any efforts he made to get free of it. He wanted his family back, and he wanted to be a person who lived to worship God with his life. He began to tell his back story.

His parents were young when he was born. They were addicts and lived a swinger’s lifestyle. Growing up, he would get himself ready for school and, many times, stepped over his parents’ still stoned party guests. He smoked “weed” at ten years old. Drank alcohol at eleven by stealing party drinks. Mom was always angry. His dad had many women to “swing” with.

He used his dad’s porn at twelve years old. At thirteen, His dad had a friend over to repair plumbing and drink beer. Dad introduced Gerald. The friend asked Gerald if he was “a man” yet. Gerald’s dad answered, “no.” The friend began to give his dad a hard time for having a thirteen-year-old son who hadn’t had sex yet. Dad decided to take care of that problem immediately. The three of them drove to a bar. Dad had Gerald stay in the car. Minutes later, dad came out with a woman; she put Gerald in her car and drove off.

She looked at the boy next to her and said her name was Patsy. He kept his eyes forward. He recalled the ride: the smell, the sounds, the torn seat covers, the fear. At the motel, they entered an upstairs room. He relived it as he shared the story, the feelings of curiosity, disgust, and being overwhelmed.

He was not able to “be a man” with Patsy. So she held him. It was an act of kindness. They drove back to the bar. She said she would tell his dad exactly what he wanted to hear and that Gerald must act like it was the best night of his life. When Gerald’s dad heard the story, he whooped and hollered about it. 

Riding home in the back seat, on that late night, Gerald quietly wept. He vowed never to disappoint his dad again. He needed to always “be a man.”

This was the boy that lived within the brokenness of this man. He longed for someone to listen to a little boy’s story. The telling is a sacred time of incredible courage. This was the genesis of transformation for Gerald. 

After many months of the boy telling his story while Jesus loved on him, he was able to break free. He began to live fully as a new creation who worshipped God and eventually reunited with his wife and daughter.